Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau – 3 Stars

Graduation Day
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Book Three in The Testing Trilogy.

I borrowed this book from my library.

Book Synopsis:

In book three of the Testing series, the United Commonwealth wants to eliminate the rebel alliance fighting to destroy The Testing for good. Cia is ready to lead the charge, but will her lethal classmates follow her into battle?

She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can’t do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for – but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves–and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope–in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau’s epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it’s Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

My Review:

While I enjoyed this trilogy, the last book left me wanting and in the end I’m just kinda glad its over.  Out of them all I like book two the best and had similar feelings towards book one and three.  Perhaps it is just time to put YA dystopian books aside for a while.  I’m feeling so ambivalent about the book I’m really not sure where to go with my review, the book just didn’t grab me until the last third, part of that could have been I read the first chapter of my next read and got really excited over that, but I’m thinking more is to blame with the book itself.

So lets start with the positive, what worked for me in this book of the trilogy.  I liked how we got a better explanation as to how the world came to this point in its history.  I also enjoyed the action in the latter parts of the book.  I also respected the integrity of Cia, her strong moral compass even when she must do tasks she finds uncomfortable.  I liked the redemption of certain characters that will remain nameless to avoid spoilers.  I also enjoyed the way the trilogy ended.  It left me satisfied and ready to put this series behind me.

One of the reasons I read dystopian books/series is I enjoy the fight to overcome insurmountable odds to right what is wrong in the world.  I enjoy the characters who look at the awful worlds they exist in and want to do something to change them for the benefit of all.  I like the idea that we can overcome corruption.  This series delivers all that, but perhaps it just needed something more. I’m afraid it might get lost in the sea of other dystopian works that have flooded the YA market.  Still I’m happy I stuck it out.

So what bothered me with this book, what didn’t work for me.  It was slow to get into first off.  My mind would wander and I was being told so much instead of reading about action.  It got a bit tedious in the first half of the book.  Now I was happy to get all this information, but perhaps it could have been broken up a bit more instead of feeling I was sitting in one of Cia’s classrooms during class.   You may disagree, but I think the story would have been stronger without the romance.  It just felt tacked on and to me there was little chemistry between Cia and Thomas.  I was more interested in Cia and Raffe’s connection then I was with her and Thomas’s relationship.  I don’t think the story needed a romance or the failed love triangle that was thrown in for part of this book.  It just didn’t work for me and frankly I have trouble seeing a future for these two beyond the end of the book, and I’m alright with that.

If you LOVE dystopian genre books then by all means add this series to your to-read list, it was a good (but not great) read.  After loving book two more than the first I had hopes for the ending to go out with a bang.  Unfortunately for me it just fell flat.  Have you read the series?  Do you disagree with me?  Feel free to share your (polite) comments below.  Tell me how I’m wrong or right?



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